Bee Roots for 2021-11-16

The table provides clues for the roots of words in today's NY Times Spelling Bee. You're responsible for prefixes, suffixes, tense changes, plurals, doubling consonants before suffixes, and alternate spellings of roots. The TL;DR about the site comes after the table. The Halloween, 2021 redesign improved the usability, I hope.

Past clues are available here

Today's puzzle

Table content

root #answers coveredanswer's first two lettersanswer's lengthclue for root (answer may need prefix, suffix, tense change, alt spelling, ...)
11EG4What baby birds hatch from
21EL5Poem that’s a lament for the dead
31ET9Study of the origin of words
51GE4Yiddish for $, bet during dreidel game
41GE5(Smucker’s) fruit preserve, or cosmetic cream, French spelling (with 3 E’s)
71GE7Study of rocks
61GE8Study of precious stones
81GL4Delight, choir (… club), or TV show about a HS choir
91GL4Grab or steal for your own use (… onto), slang verb
101GL5Darkness, or depression (…-y Gus); doubled vowel of above
101GL6Darkness, or depression (…-y Gus); doubled vowel of above
121GO5Clay figure brought to life by magic
131GO5Informal exclamation of surprise (part of Little Richard song title “Good …, Miss M...”)
141GO5Sticky or slimy substance
112GO6Eye protector for swimming or skiing; or stare with wide & bulging eyes
151GO6Popular web search site
161GO6Unfocused or rolling eyes, adj.; or cricket bowling variation
171GO6Large number (10¹⁰⁰), NOT a web search site
181LE5Body part that connects the rest of you to your feet
191LO4Theater section behind orchestra
201LO4Company graphic symbol; Target’s is a red bullseye ◎
211LO4Sluggish, adj., or “study of” suffix
221OG4S–shaped line or molding, noun; or having a double continuous S–shaped curve, adj.
231OG4Eye amorously
241OT7Study of the anatomy and diseases of the ear
251TE9Explaining things by their purpose instead of their cause
261TO6Key or command that switches between two modes, such as the caps lock key, noun/verb

About this site

This site provides clues for a day's New York Times Spelling Bee puzzle. It exists to make it easier for Kevin Davis to take a day off. Most of the clues come from him. There may be some startup problems, but long term I think I can put the clues together with no more than half an hour's work.

The "Bee Roots" approach is to provide explicit clues for root words, not every word. This is similar to what Kevin Davis does, but without information about parts of speech As logophiles, we are pretty good at putting on prefixes and suffixes, changing tense, and forming plurals (including Latin plurals!). The clues cover root words, arranged alphabetically by root word, with a count of words in the puzzle that come from each root. For example, if a puzzle includes ROAM and ROAMING, there will be a clue for ROAM and a count of 2. The root may not appear in the puzzle at all; for example, the 2021-07-23 Bee included ICED, DEICE, and DEICED. For such a puzzle, the clue would be for ICE with a word count of 3.

The Bee Roots approach involves judgement sometimes. For example, if a puzzle includes LOVE, LOVED, and LOVELY, how many roots are needed to cover them? LOVE and LOVED share the root LOVE, certainly, but LOVELY is tricky. LOVE is part of its etymology, but by now, the word means "exquisitely beautiful," which is a lot farther from the meaning of LOVE than swithcing to past tense. I'm inclined to treat LOVE and LOVELY as separate roots. You may not agree, which is fine. Another thing we logophiles share is a LOVE of arguing about words on Twitter.

One last complication, until another one pops up: a few roots have multiple spellings, for example LOLLYGAG and LALLYGAG. Depending on the day's letters, and maybe even the editor's whims, one or both could be in the puzzle's answer list. With such roots, you could see a word count of 2, even if there are no applicable prefixes or suffixes.

I will do my best to keep this site up to date and helpful (I hope). Check it out, and tweet feedback to @donswartwout Tweet to @donswartwout

Many thanks to Kevin Davis, whose 4,500-word clue list made this possible.